Although somewhat rare, bus accidents can often lead to significant property damage, major injuries and even fatalities. Bus accident fatalities occur for multiple reasons, including rear-end collisions, the large size of the bus, risk factors to passengers such as the lack of seatbelts or airbags and negligence of the bus driver.

Fatal bus accident statistics

In the United States, from 2008 to 2018, intercity buses accounted for 12% of all buses involved in fatal crashes, transit buses accounted for 35%, and school buses accounted for 40% of fatality causing bus accidents. In 2018 alone there were 85 school buses and transit buses involved in fatal crashes across the country.

Government vs. private ownership

For those injured in a bus accident, one major question surrounds who may be liable. Bus accident lawsuits often involve government entities because many buses involved in accidents are owned by the state or other government entities such as public school buses. A lawsuit process may differ according to the ownership of the bus involved in an accident. For example, if the bus involved in an accident was privately owned, rather than owned by the government, the lawsuit will apply rules and procedures used in normal negligence cases.

Negligence

Proving negligence will play a key role in bus accident cases and settlements. In claiming negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was actually at fault for the injury caused. The plaintiff also must show that there was a duty of care owed to her and that the defendant breached that duty, the injury caused was foreseeable, and the damages resulted from the defendant’s conduct.

Those injured by bus accidents may be able to seek compensation for the financial costs suffered as a result of a serious collision. State negligence and injury law can change with time, including the process for suing government agencies and caps on damages. Seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney can help to answer any questions and can provide assistance to those who may wish to file a lawsuit.